When I was in high school, my friends and I would pretty much do something almost every night during the summer. It wasn’t necessarily anything big or exciting. A lot of the time we would end up sitting on the tailgates of our trucks in our school’s parking lot. Even though most of the time we just sat in the Calvary parking lot, I rarely missed a night out with my friends.
Now, of course, I didn’t know this then, but I know it now, I was there every night because I wanted to be a part of it all. I wanted to be a part of it all because I was seeking meaning in the moments, in being a part of the crowd, in being in on every inside joke.
If we’re honest, we all seek meaning in something. Whether it be in the little moments of life, knowing we are in the “in crowd”, or something else, we all seek meaning in something. Maybe you are pursuing something right now that you believe will finally provide the meaning for which you long. Or maybe that which you have pursued so long has just let you down, and that’s left you wondering: How can I find meaning in life?
In order to answer that question, the the last thing we need to look at is:
In What Do We Find Meaning?
At the very end of the book, in verse 13, the author speaks and says,
“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ec 12:13–14)
So in what should we find meaning? Well, we should find meaning in our relationship with God. It’s the one thing that is not going to let us down. It’s not going to fail us. It will provide fulfillment. And that fulfillment will be an eternal fulfillment.
We should find meaning in our relationship with God because we were made for a relationship with God. As well as we were made to live according to His will, which brings Him glory. When we live in the way in which we have been made to live, we will find satisfaction, meaning, and joy. We will find fulfillment.
To try to live in any other way, then, will ultimately result in dissatisfaction, meaninglessness, and despair. Sure, those things may not come for a while. I’m certain the preacher in Ecclesiastes’ experience wasn’t all doom and gloom as he was indulging in the pleasures of the world, creating great works, building and sharing his wisdom, etc. Ultimately, however, he found those things left him wanting. They left him dissatisfied, joyless, and in a state of despair. That’s because these things and the others I discussed in Part 1 and 2 can’t hold up that kind of weight. They are like a person who walks into the gym for the first time and thinks they can bench 300 lbs. They are pumped up. Talking their strength up to their friend. They slap the weights on the bar, lay down, yell a few times to pump themselves up, then struggle to even get the weight off the rack. If they are to get it up and over their chest to press it, they soon find that their muscles are weak. Too weak to hold that kind of weight. Soon their arms have given way, the weight comes crashing down crushing their chest. That is what it’s like to ask these things to provide us with meaning in life. They seem like they can. They talk like they can. They yell at us like they can. But when it comes time, they ultimately fail us.
But God will not fail us. He will provide us with everlasting meaning because He is strong enough to hold that kind of weight.
The great thing is we can have a relationship with God because God Himself made a way. Jesus came and died for us. For our sins, so we, an unholy, sinful people can have a relationship with a holy God. If we believe and repent of our sins, we can experience that. We can experience a relationship that will provide meaning.
So the secret to meaning in life isn’t found under the sun, instead it’s found in God. The One who stands outside of the material world. The One who created us. The One who we should worship. So quit trying to find meaning in the things under the sun and look to the Son — Jesus Christ. He’s the One who can and will ultimately satisfy.
Question for Reflection
- Have you found that the things of this world let you down when you try to find your ultimate meaning in them?
Post developed from my sermon: Ecclesiastes – Hevel and the Secret to the Meaning of Life